The Poodle is in the Details

This is my favorite photo from the Flickr album Toni Frissell Dog Photography Part One:

Fashion: Mrs. Winston Guest. Photo by Toni Frissell, December 5, 1958. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/tofr.13627

It’s not my favorite because of the red Ford Country Sedan station wagon. It’s not my favorite because of the Mainbocher coat worn by C.Z. Guest. It’s my favorite because of the doggy in the window if you will. The poodle in the passenger seat of the car makes this my favorite:

Detail of Fashion: Mrs. Winston Guest. Photo by Toni Frissell, December 5, 1958. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/tofr.13627

It’s unexpected upon first glance to see the poodle in the car, as if he/she just drove up and is ready to join the fun. This photo was taken for Sports Illustrated for an article on Mainbocher fashions, but it and the others from the shoot were never published. Of the 98 photos of Mrs. Guest taken by Toni Frissell, I spot the poodle in the car in two. He/she also appears out of the car in a small number of images:

Fashion: Mrs. Winston Guest. Photo by Toni Frissell, December 5, 1958. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/tofr.13669

Fashion: Mrs. Winston Guest. Photo by Toni Frissell, December 5, 1958. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/tofr.13671

Two other dogs appear in some of the photos, but never with the poodle:

Fashion: Mrs. Winston Guest. Photo by Toni Frissell, December 5, 1958. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/tofr.13650

Toni Frissell also shot C.Z. Guest in 1957 for Harper’s Bazaar. The black-and-white contact sheets from this shoot have not been digitized. Dogs, including the poodle appear in these photos:

Detail of contact sheet. Frissell Job 1957-32, no. 32. Photo by Jan Grenci, 2023.

I find it fascinating to look through the many photos Ms. Frissell took for an assignment. Often, a close examination can lead to more questions than answers. Perhaps I’ve spent too much time thinking about these images, but I wish I knew more about the dogs.

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